Olivia Dresher

Ten Moments


Breathing in the space
that doesn’t need to be filled,
breathing out what cannot fill me…

* * *

I am here
hearing the stones speak
as rain falls on them.

* * *

Self-portrait: the look I have
on my face
when no one’s looking.

* * *

Between memories and forgetting
the forest of nostalgia
with no trails.

* * *

Moments pop up everywhere. Here
comes another one, there goes another
one, now they’re all blending together.

* * *

I’m not sure what her face
is saying, but whatever it’s saying,
it’s really saying it.

* * *

A purr plays with
the bubble of silence,
a meow bursts it.

* * *

Where the wind comes from
and where it goes…
It’s the same for all of us.

* * *

He’s staring at me.
He’s daydreaming his mind
into mine.

* * *

So, nothing lasts. Now what?
Just this…and the moon
growing brighter each night.
OLIVIA DRESHER is a poet, publisher, editor and anthologist living in Seattle (Wallingford) since 1981. She is the publisher of Impassio Press and the founder/editor of FragLit Magazine, and in 2012 was co-editor of the online magazine qarrtsiluni for the issue on fragments. She is also co-founder and director of the Life Writing Connection. Her poetry, fragments and essays have appeared in anthologies and a variety of online and in-print literary magazines. She is the editor of In Pieces: An Anthology of Fragmentary Writing and co-editor of Darkness and Light: Private Writing as Art: An Anthology of Contemporary Journals, Diaries, and Notebooks. She has written thousands of poetic fragments at Twitter, spontaneously, and is currently working on a selection of these for several in-print collections. Her complete Bio and select writings can be found at www.OliviaDresher.com.


Richard Kenney

Hydrology; Lachrymation


The river meanders because it can’t think.
Always, with the river, the path of least resistance.
Look: lip of a low bowl swerves the river tens
Or thousands of miles wild. The least brink
Of a ridge and its python shies… How efficient— think—
Would a straight sluice to the sea be, in terms
Computable? When’s water simpler? Cisterns
Certainly, still as a tearful blink;
Lake effects likewise, like the great circular storms,
Tornadoes, hurricanes; those lesser weather systems
Too, troubling the benthos where the icecaps shrink.
Straightforward isotherms… or is it isotheres…
But a moment ago, someone mentioned tears.
Why tears, for love? Why rivers? I can’t think.


“Hydrology; Lachrymation” is reprinted from The One-Strand River (Knopf, 2008).


Richard Kenney’s most recent book is The One-Strand River (Knopf, 2008). He teaches at the University of Washington, and lives with his family in Port Townsend.


READING:  Richard Kenney will read with Tess Gallagher, Jim Bertolino, Brian Culhane, and Laurie Lamon at Elliott Bay Books on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 pm.




Jack Straw is accepting applications for the 2013 Jack Straw Writers Program until November 1.  This year’s literary curator is Stephanie Kallos, who will select twelve writers to create new work during the residency.  Selected participants will share their work through live readings, recorded interviews, a published anthology, and as podcasts on the Jack Straw website. Participants also receive professional training in voice and microphone technique, performance and delivery, and studio interviews. This program is open to writers of all genres willing to travel to the Seattle area for occasional performances and workshops.

Jack Straw Alums include Cheryl Strayed, Matt Briggs, Doug Nufer, Kelli Russell Agodon, Cody Walker, John Olson, Frances McCue, Molly Tenenbaum, Kevin Craft, Wendy Call, Priscilla Long, Bill Carty, Nassim Assefi, and many more.


The Floating Bridge Chapbook Competition opens for submissions on November 1 until February 15, 2013.  Poets may submit manuscripts of up to 24 pages electronically.  Only Washington State poets are eligible.  The winner’s book is published in an edition of 400 books.  The winner receives a reading in the Seattle area, $500 and fifteen copies of the book.  The 2012 winner is Jodie Marion for Another Exile on the 45th Parallel.  For submission guidelines, please visit the Floating Bridge Press website.


READING:  Jodie Marion will read from her award-winning chapbook, Another Exile on the 45th Parallel, and Dennis Caswell will read from his full-length collection, Phlogiston, at 7:00 at the U.W. branch of the University Bookstore on Tuesday, October 30.  Both books are new from Floating Bridge Press.


READING:  Tess Gallagher, Richard Kenney, Jim Bertolino, Laurie Lamon, and Brian Culhane will read at Elliott Bay Books on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 pm to mark the publication of the first paper edition of the Plume Anthology.



Andrew Shattuck McBride



After nightfall an anonymous sculptor
and helpers install a statue below a Fairhaven
bluff. As platform, they choose the jagged
tin boulder surrounded by water at high tide.
They balance the statue perfectly on one foot,
and bolt it in to older metal. The artist calls
the statue Grace. She points one arm to sea,
trails the other to meet leg curling up behind her.
Formed of silver bands wrapped around steel
core and heart, she’s untempered and pure.
Grace is silvery fine and fair, and appears
to be a dancer–her stomach is taut, her limbs
long-muscled and lean. A friend tells me Grace
is in a standing bow pose or dancer’s pose.
To me she seems prepared to leap or soar.
While Grace is lithe and limber, she is caressed
by salt water and air, and her carbon steel
is in certain decline. When the sculptor returns
and takes her from us, he will leave this artistry:
however we choose to picture or embody grace–
in repose, or as a dancer prepared to soar or
leap, reclining, or as an elder walking with
quiet dignity–we rediscover grace. Grace
resides in us, and remains available always.


“Grace” is reprinted from the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest Chapbook, 2012.

Andrew Shattuck McBride is a Bellingham-based poet and editor. He has poems published or forthcoming in Platte Valley Review, Magnapoets, Caesura, Haibun Today, American Society: What Poets See, Dreams Wander On: Contemporary Poems of Death Awareness, Generations of Poetry, bottle rockets, Mu: An International Haiku Journal, Prune Juice: A Journal of Senryu and Kyoka, Shamrock Haiku Journal, A Hundred Gourds, The Bellingham Herald, and Clover, A Literary Rag. His poem “Grace” won a merit award in the 2012 Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest. He has edited poetry collections by Washington poets Cathy Ross, Seren Fargo, and Richard Lee Harris.



Brooke Matson



The cold brass of sun slides

the evening leaves.


Star magnolias spin

on the surface of the pond


like a tattered gown.

The moon slips


from night’s fingers

as a broad-winged crane descending—


no more reason to hold herself

so far above the world.


“Twilight” is reprinted from The Moons (Blue Begonia Press, 2012).

Brooke Matson was born and raised on the rural side of Yakima, Washington. She attended Gonzaga University, where she received her B.A. in English and her M.A. in Educational Leadership. Her work has been published in the Blue Begonia Press anthology, Weathered Pages, in 2005. Her first book is The Moons (Blue Begonia Press, 2012). Matson lives in Spokane where she teaches at a small experiential high school.

Carol Levin

Contagious Ecstasy of Bravado


Have you never heard of King, the musher
up in Nome? Or Salem, his lead dog
who fortified the Iditarod team
past twenty-four village checkpoints,
over two mountain ranges, along the wide
Yukon River, up the stretch sliding
on the iced-in coast of the Bering Sea,
down into town, into

the winners circle under flashbulbs and feast lights
and Northern lights, and the beam
of a full moon corona?
Front page photo flash of light yellow roses
in a garland around his neck. This dog’s

the one who ran King’s team loose, after King,
on the coldest night
toppled off the sled. He fell into fatigue’s
deep snow, struggling to stand, watching
his rig vanish like a candle guttering in the winter air,
his life and his victory running away.

Redeeming the space between his lips and teeth King
shrilled across the frozen lay.
Who knows what goes through dogs’ minds?
Surprisingly Salem acquiesced, turned the team.

King re-mounted. Have you
never once broken free helter-skelter hard
on the lip of oblivion? Have you, thrashed
ticking off your debts unable
to sleep or bellowed
alone out loud on the freeway?
Have you rehearsed, down

to the exact pitch of your voice your
goodbye but then backed out at a wisp of her cologne?
Who knows what goes through your mind turning
to your morning toast, folding the newspaper,
assuring her–We’ll come out ahead next time


“Contagious Ecstasy of Bravado” is reprinted from Gander Press Review (Spring 2009)


Carol Levin’s full volume, Stunned By the Velocity, appeared 2012 from Pecan Grove Press. Pecan Grove Press also published Carol Levin’s chapbook, Red Rooms and Others  (2009).  Her chapbook Sea Lions Sing Scat came out with Finishing Line Press in 2007.  Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Louisville Review, The New York Quarterly, Verse Wisconsin, The Massachusetts Review, Third Coast, OVS Magazine,The Pedestal Magazine, Fire On Her Tongue, Two Sylvias Press, Raven Chronicles, The Mom Egg and many others. Levin is an Editorial Assistant for the Crab Creek Review. She teaches the The Breathing Lab /Alexander Technique, in Seattle.

Dana Dickerson

Barcelona, Spring of ’93

He sits in the smallest room of a three bedroom apartment on Carrer de la Garrotxa. He has been left behind by his Brazilian roommates, who could no longer stand the cold Latin stares on the subway. He looks at his body like a machine, nothing more than an object composed of organic systems and chemical reactions. Outside his third floor window, women push their children across the courtyard, they gather under shade trees, smoke cigarettes and gossip in Catalan. He watches alone, aware of his every movement, his every spoken word, as if they were being compiled and documented. He considers the implications of an unspoken conspiracy. “The power of suggestion. Functions so innate, they are taken for granted.” He catches himself, unsure if he’s spoken the words aloud. He imagines Dostoyevsky in the moment before an epileptic seizure, he remembers the electric blue circle which surrounds his rolled back eyes at the moment of orgasm, he wonders at the blissful surrender of self to the dusk between sleep and dream; moments of suspicious clarity and connection with every thread in the web of life. He wants to dream in lucid reality, he wants to verify his isolation tactics, he wants to escape the Christ incinerating machines. His only guide is a map, left in a drawer, from 1963.


Dana Dickerson grew up on the mean streets of Phinney Ridge in Seattle, WA. He spent his summers covered in the fine dust, raw  wit and ancient wonder of the Colville reservation. He graduated from the Creative Writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM. He also received a scholarship to attend the Naropa Institute summer writing program. In 2001, he graduated from the Evergreen State College. His poetry appears in Volt, microliterature.org and New Poets of the American West. He lives in Olympia with his girlfriend and their three cats.





Clark Crouch

Goose Creek


The creek meanders listlessly
amidst the hills of sand…
a shallow, slender thread of life
feeding the fragile land.

It brings water to our cattle
and makes the meadows green
with grasses as tall as a man
as far as can be seen,

Willow branches droop o’er the stream,
shading the water’s flow,
creating quiet, cool retreats
where man is wont to go.

This little creek flows steadily
as seasons rise and wane,
grandly fulfilling its purpose,
in this prairie domain.


“Goose Creek” originally appeared in Thirteenth, a chapbook published by Allied Arts of Yakima Valley for the 13th Annual Juried Poetry Reading and Coffeehouse, April 2007.


Clark Crouch was born in Nebraska and was on his own working his way through school as a youthful cowboy from the time he was 12 until he was nearly 18. A veteran of WWII and Korea, he was a government administrator for 32 years, a management consultant for 25 years, and is currently a western and cowboy poet, author and performer. The author of eight books of poetry, he is a two time winner of the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Cowboy Poetry and a four time finalist in annual book competitions of the Western Music Association.

Megan Snyder-Camp


Our church was all brick, no name on it
and no stained glass. Every few years
a new preacher took over and tried to make us sing.
One told us Wile E. Coyote’s lifelong quest
for the Road Runner was like us hungering for Jesus.
He said we all know Coyote never gets
the Road Runner. We said that’s right. But no.
No, my friends: one time, Coyote
gets exactly what he prayed for. That skippety
Road Runner gets fat on radioactive birdseed
and this seed is the seed of Godliness, our Road Runner
big as a skyscraper. And Wile E. Coyote’s dedication,
his constant prayers for this one thing, his need
to hold the baby Jesus in his own hands,
to not have to take it on faith—he gets what he wants.
That’s right. Wile E. Coyote catches up
with the Road Runner, who’s now a thousand times
his size. He grabs hold of the Road Runner’s leg
with his tiny little hand. He’s caught him.
Coyote never thought this would happen. He’s built
his whole life around this one goal. Put himself
out of work is what he’s done, my friends.
Our Coyote holds up a little sign
saying “now what?” We waited.
Then one Sunday the preacher’s gone, a stranger
in his place, wearing his robes. The fan
on high, lilies asea. One of you, he shouts, is free.
One of you will not have to pay the piper.
One of you will walk this earth and you shall not
stumble and you shall not thirst. One of you
is lost and you shall not be found. We left,
each one of us. Some did come back. Some
only went as far as the laundry line before missing
the feel of slippers on carpet. Some watched the sky
that night and took comfort in the blinking radio tower.
Some flew. There was so much to be undone.


Megan Snyder-Camp’s first collection, The Forest of Sure Things (2010), won the Tupelo Press/Crazyhorse First Book Award. She has received grants and residencies from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Djerassi, the 4Culture Foundation, and the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest. Her work has recently been featured on the PBS NewsHour.

Linda Cooper

Mountain Vesuvius Takes a Lover

We can only speculate, but after discussing the matter
thoroughly, we believe the mountain has taken a lover.

He keeps to himself, doesn’t join chariot races,
wild beast hunts or crucifixions. He smiles constantly,

staring off into the heavens; we don’t know where
he goes at night. We suspect the fat lake, ever full and

cloying, or that mercurial river; that one will surely
take him down. Last week, we hired a private

detective to follow him, but a rock fall ended that.
Frankly, we are afraid to pursue this further; he erupts

weekly and his passion is menacing. We suspect he’ll soon
move away, leaving a vast, inviting hole in the sky.



“Mountain Vesuvius Takes a Lover” is reprinted from Hubub.

Linda Cooper lives in Seattle, Washington and is a middle school English teacher. A former park ranger, Linda spends her summers exploring the North Cascades and writing poetry. Her poems have been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Many Mountains Moving, West Branch, Third Coast, Willow Springs, Diner, and Elixir, among other journals, and Verse Daily.